By now, Jing Yi had made some progress with the tasks he had given himself. He had first learned how to read and write, giving Qiu Ling an excuse to leave the most nauseating messages around the room at all times of the day. After some more time, he had also managed to learn how to use his spiritual energy to use the flying sword so he didn’t need Qiu Ling’s help anymore to get around.
With that newfound ability, they had explored the whole realm, leisurely spending their time together. Thankfully, this realm had been artificially crafted. There was nothing dangerous around so it was mostly sightseeing and sharing memories in this place that resembled the dragon realm.
Jing Yi couldn’t help but ask Qiu Ling for comparisons over and over again. If he could, he really would’ve liked to ascend right away and go with Qiu Ling to visit his real home. He wanted to know what it looked like. He wanted to know how life in the dragon realm was. He wanted to have something with him Jing He had never been able to achieve. Leaving the realm where he was born, getting to know this place that Qiu Ling seemed to cherish, that would be something that connected the two of them. Just them. It would have nothing to do with his old life.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that just yet. While he had made indeed progress with his cultivation after training these past few years, it wasn’t enough to ascend. By now, he was at the peak of the fifth stage but one needed to reach the seventh stage to be able to ascend.
And unfortunately, even though the spiritual energy in this realm was richer than that outside in the Yun Zou Sect, it still couldn’t compare to that in the demon realm or the High Heavens. So even though he had spent every single minute that he could on cultivating and training, the progress he could make in this place wasn’t as much as he would’ve liked to.
It didn’t help that Qiu Ling was hesitant to teach him further. He hadn’t had a problem showing him how to fly or even teaching him a few techniques to defend himself to make sure he wouldn’t get into trouble but as soon as it got to the point where he would need to teach him how to use his spiritual energy to fight, he would suddenly think of something else that needed to be done immediately and slink off.
After trying to convince him a few times, Jing Yi could only sigh and admit to himself that nothing would change. Qiu Ling wasn’t ready yet to teach him any of this. He still had some second thoughts because Jing He would remember all of this when he got his soul back. It was a pity but he knew that he couldn’t change Qiu Ling’s mind easily regarding this matter. If nothing happened to convince him to do otherwise, he would insist on not teaching him how to fight. There was nothing he could do about that.
Thus for a while, Jing Yi had continued just as he had before: Cultivating at night to make the most of his time, training the few things he had learned in the day and spending some hours with Qiu Ling so their relationship wouldn’t suffer.
He had also finally gotten around to perusing the cultivation manual that Grandmaster Zhangsun had given him. He had nothing to compare it to but using it seemed to help with the problem of not being fast enough at least a little. Before he started to use his manual, he felt that things had become slower. Now, even though his speed couldn’t be called heaven-defying, it was at least a little faster than before. That was already very good.
For a while, Jing Yi thought that he was on the right way and that the only thing he needed now was time. He didn’t think he would run into any problems since he had more than enough of that. After all, since reaching the third stage, he wasn’t aging anymore. So even if he took longer to reach the seventh stage, it should not be a problem.
Unfortunately, things weren’t as simple as that. While he did make some progress in the beginning, he eventually reached a point where even that turned impossible. For the first time in his life, Jing Yi had encountered what was known as a bottleneck and there was no way to overcome this in the realm.
Thus after trying to sit the problem out without success, Jing Yi and Qiu Ling had finally decided to leave the realm. What Jing Yi needed now was experience and that was something he could not get in the realm. He needed to venture outside and take part in the life that cultivators normally led.
In a way, he was looking forward to that. Back in the beginning, he had joined the Yun Zou Sect to become a hero but things had turned out differently when he got older and met Qiu Ling. In fact, they had changed so much that Jing Yi had never had time to pursue his original goal and had instead decided to cultivate so he could ascend. Now, he was given the chance to follow his original aspirations. It would have been a lie to say that he did not want to see how that would turn out.
Thus, he didn’t need to consider for long what he wanted to do.
“Qiu Ling … How about seeing if there’s a mission available that we could do together? Before I knew you, Shao Hai and Xiao Dong once showed me that there were missions available for the disciples. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to cultivate yet so I could never try it out. I think it would be fun to do it together. What do you think?”
Qiu Ling looked at his beloved, his gaze turning softer. Ah, if that was what his beloved wanted, then naturally, that was what he wanted to! Thus he didn’t even think about it for a moment before he eagerly nodded his head. Anyway, if they could travel together again with just the two of them, they were bound to spend lots of time together without being disturbed!